Shaming the Sick: Substance Use and Stigma | Dr Carolyn Greer | TEDxFortWayne

When we speak about mental illness and substance use disorders in a similar fashion as we do about other chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes and high …


  1. thank u so much for talking about this! my ex boyfirnd used and was afraid to tell the doctor he did but was having health issues because he didnt want his kids taken…plus he didnt want to be looked at as a bad person, Its sad that once you mention drug addiction everyone views you as a bad person even though they have no idea what LED you to use….another problem is not having good insurance(ppo) they just dont have the knowlege or dont care….anyways i wish EVERYONE had the knowledge you have so that ppl with substance abuse and mental health issues could get better…Thank you!

  2. This is a fantastic talk. I'm not in this exact situation but I strongly relate to it. I am so glad that this woman exists and is working so hard to make the world a better place.

    Isolation and low self-worth/identity issues are part of what leads many people to long-term addiction and also another thing that helps to keeps it alive – in addition to the actual brain impairment mentioned! It is a miracle that anyone is in recovery from drug addiction at all as things stand.

  3. Thank you for this. I am a Firstnations man who has also been through the ringer with addictions. I am joining u on this crusade to bring the truth about this illness. The shame of this illness makes it worse and worse. Please follow my YouTube and other platforms @ Billwardlife. I’m gonna help you carry the message of truth and hope!! ❤️

  4. A minute and a half in and I'm in tears. I am an addict in recovery and so this hits home. Although I am stable on a methadone prescription I am struggling to see how I will ever be completely free. I also have depression anxiety and PTSD and a lot of my using was because of Trauma. Thank you for this talk 🙏

  5. See, idk, I always look at the consequences and think abt the negative impact.. I just can talk myself out of it when I'm active.. maybe bc ive had a few stints of sobriety including 5 yrs… but I am not blind to the idiocracy of myself, I just can't pull put of it… and as the saying goes too smart for our own good sometimes.. def true

  6. Ok. It is still very tough even without the stigma due to the high cost of treatment, and the likelihood of one's experiencing a fatal overdose, especially in the fentanyl era. Note that in June of 2019 I did not ask my son what drugs he was taking nor did he tell me because I was concerned that he would withdraw and avoid talking to me. He was 18 at the time. He did not tell because he was just about always inclined to keep that sort of thing secret from us except when he left signs of mj/thc and alcohol use around. He had a fentanyl overdose on 3 20 2020 15 days after his 19th birthday. We had not even known that he had been using percocet until the day after he died. That was a hard one partly because his future value was greater than mine. My value is just to have kids and to pass on the family cultural legacy. He was more capable and athletic and talented in art as well as music, having more capabilities in 1 person than any one person in the family for literally centuries.

  7. This problem goes beyond shaming. A person living in California is committed to a hospital for an attempted suicide. The state documents this as a 5250. The state (by law) recognizes you now as a grave danger to others or yourself. The state then adjudicates you as "mentally defective" . There is no judge, no courtroom, no lawyers. The state then transmits this data to the FBI National Criminal Database NICS. Why is this important? If your name appears on the NICS database, you are not allowed to purchase firearms, you will fail background checks when seeking employment and you will be considered a criminal by law enforcement. It is next to impossible to have your name removed from the NICS database. Thanks to an ever growing intrusive state, this person will live with the negative impact of this systemic stigma. I ask the question, why should anyone trust the state or so called health care providers? The government is not your friend, in fact it is quite the opposite. The state (government) at all levels from cops on the street to judges in the courtrooms to law makers at the capitol, devote 100% of their efforts in circumventing the Constitution to nullify your rights and we pay them to do it. Question everything.

  8. I love everything you've said! I attempted to get clean, even went to a rehab that was MAT friendly, but I was against MAzt due to the stigma. I heard alot about it when there and my views changed. I was only 20 it was my 1st time in rehab so they wouldn't put me on methadone due to that. However I relapsed in treatment every 30 days for 3 months until I finally accepted naltrexone tablets for 3 months and ended up relapsing twice… so clearly I needed something more while in an inpatient relapsing any chance I could. Eventually I ended up overdosing and got kicked out because it was too triggering. I was on a marchman act that kept getting extended due to relapsing…iwas very close to maxing it out but since I got kicked out it started all over…. I went to jail & finally the Dr there offered me methadone & omg I'm going on 4 years no illicit drug screens. I wish the stigma for MAT wasn't there. It makes no sense to keep trying abstinence when it doesn't work. I truly believe id be dead without it if I kept trying that way. Its insanity. I have lost many friends since. I am now able to see how delusional I was and I read my journal from treatment and I just can't believe I couldn't see how ridiculous I sounded. I wrote a letter to my insurance saying the rehab is committing fraud and not correctly dx me that I don't need that level of care even tho I just relapsed 21 days ago for the 5th time since getting here 6 months ago lol 😆 it was a 90 day program with a transitional part for 60 days more if u wanted. Anyways thank u and I hope more ppl start to realize mat is the best option in most cases as it keeps us alive to realize what we want and now I'm a mother & my life is better than I ever imagined!

  9. I cannot explain how much this talk means to me. Thank you, Dr. Greer. Hearing talks like this give me hope for the future, and that maybe it really is possible to get past the stigma surrounding addiction in the United States.

  10. Dr. Greer, you are such a beautiful women. I am crying listening to your message as I do suffer with substance use after being a victim of DV and I long for compassion and community to help exit this but as I am functional in many aspects and a Christian when I do look for help it falls on judgmental ears that also have no solutions absent thousands of dollars which I don't have for treatment as I am without health insurance or the financial resources to spend $35,000 dollars for treatment. Thank you for showing love and compassion for people. I hope others model your behavior in the future and public health care will open up to helping instead of judging.

  11. This is my Dr. She is the best thing that's happened to me, outside my wife and kids. Phil is NOT my real name, I don't want the "stigma", hence the fake name. But she is great. She cares.

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